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Carleton Autograph Collection - Unusual Experience?

Question asked by stelzer001 on Feb 11, 2013

Hi all of you great Marriott Insiders. A few weeks ago, my wife asked that I get us a room in NYC to bring our family (two kids under 18) in to see two Broadway shows and spend a weekend in NYC. We can take the local commuter train in (I get this privledge every weekday) in, so location was not overly important, and Marriott kept having a 20% off Autograph Collection special on the main sign in page, so I decided to look into it. Well, I was able to get a booking at the Carleton (29th and Madison). Never stayed there before. Our check in date was 2/8/13 (yes, the date Nemo/snomaggedon arrived). So since I work about 1 mile from this prpoerty, I went to the front desk at 3PM and checked in. The FDC noted my status (PLT) and welcomed me in a very nice way. No offer of ugrade was ever made, so I decided to ask, given that the NYC airport were closed, some of the commuter lines were saying they would shut down, etc due to the increasingly dire snow prediciations. The FDC told me, oh, we have had a allot of cancellations, so OK, I will upgrade you to a junior suite, and "I hope I don't get into trouble with my manager for that" were her exact words. BTW, the hotel went from 85% to be occupied to 40% occupied due to cancellations (amazing what the doorman will tell you while he is trying to hail you a cab during a snowstorm!) so there was plety of room at the Inn, so to speak. So having secured the upgrade and the FDC already being a bit nervous about that, I decided to go for broke and asked if I could get some B'Fast coupons. She told me she doidnt think so, but would check. She said she would ask her manager and if she did get them, she would slide them under the door in an envelope. Well, no envelope, no such luck. Now I know that MR says in the T&C's no Bfast on weekends, but I have stayed at many Marriott/Renaissance FS hotels around the USA, and have about 90% success getting complimentary BFast on the weekends.


Now this property has only one restaurant, and they closed it duirng the weekend, and told us that if we wanted breakfat we could go to the bar area of the restaurant, which was dark and had very uncomfortable seating. I told my family we could go to Dunkin Dounuts on the corner of 28th and Madison and I could get all of the coffee, bagels, doughnuts, etc for a fraction of what this property wanted for Bfast (can anyone say $6 for OJ, $5 for coffee and $6 for a bowl of raisin bran?). So, despite over 11 inches of snow, I did the 200 foot walk and went to Dunkin Doughnuts and we had a great Bfast in our room.


I also bought a few bottles of water so that we could have some on hand when we got back to the room. Imagine my surprise on Saturday, when we went out to enjoy Madiosn Square Park and go skating in Bryant Park that several hours later when we came back, the room was made up and several unopened bottles of water had been taken by the maid!!!!!!


I went down to the FD, and a new crew was on duty, explained the issues of the missing water, and they apologized and replaced them. I again asked for BFast Coupons and again, no was the response.


To add even more interest, I had asked for a rolloway bed, which the property wanted $20 for per night! I declined this, as the room had a good couch (not convertibel, but ver serviceable) and a really good lounge chair and the kids were prefectly happy to use those. But really, in over 600 stays at Marriott/Renaissance properies all over the world in the last 7 years, not once has any one of them asked for extra $$ for a rollaway.


And then best item, we hung a DND sign on the door and at 7:30am Sunday, the maid starts rapping her knuckles on our door. I hop out of bed, and tell her to look at the DND sign, all she did was mumble and walk away.


I am a native New Yorker, and have lived all over the world for my Company. While I really love NY, its hotels like this that drive me crazy and give NYC the reputation it has for poor service. Ihave stayed at all of the FS Marriotts and Resaissance Hotels in NYC so we thought we would give this one a try. Oh well, now we know better.


Given that I was paying a decent rate (not the lowest rate), and I had to ask for an upgrade, was asked to pay for a rollaway, had unopened water confiscated and then had to ask to have them replaced, the maid ignored the DND sign (probably getting even with me for reporting her) and sticking like glue to the T&C about Bfast, well, that is the last time I will ever stay at the Carleton!


When I checked out, I told this to the FDC and aked to speak to the manager. The manager was conveniently unavailable (at 11:30 am) so I paid my bill and we left. What a great way to treat a platinum member.


Anyone else ever stay at this Hotel an have a similiar experience? I would be curious to hear if anyone else has had issue with the Carleton. Makes me think twice about staying at any of the Autograph Collection properties, they seem to be really snooty and resent being part of Marriott!